A veteran Holden car dealer has been admitted to hospital after reportedly suffering a heart complication on the way to a meeting with General Motors to discuss compensation for axing the brand in Australia.
The long-standing Holden dealer, whose identity is known to CarAdvice but we have chosen to not publish, was on his way to find out how much money US car giant General Motors was going to offer after ending its current franchise agreements more than two years early.
The Holden dealer didn’t make it to the meeting as he was instead taken by his wife to the emergency room, where he was kept under observation. He has since been discharged from hospital.
The revelation comes after senior Holden dealer representatives met with Prime Minister Scott Morrison this morning, asking for the government’s help to make sure General Motors’ head office in Detroit pays fair compensation to the dealer network.
The Holden dealer group had originally only been promised 15 minutes with the Prime Minister, however today’s meeting went for almost an hour.
“We asked the Prime Minister to help us hold General Motors to account,” said a Holden dealer executive, representing 203 showrooms and 9000 employees nationally.
“The Prime Minister was disgusted with GM’s behaviour. He asked us what he can do to help and is considering a number of options.”
When asked what leverage the Prime Minister and the Federal Government had over General Motors, a Holden dealer representative said the US car giant had admitted it has “breached its own dealer agreement”.
A statement from Holden said: “We believe the compensation to be fair. We are disappointed a small number of dealers are choosing to raise their issues in the public domain, rather than raising them with us.”
General Motors is rolling out its compensation offers in the coming week. Holden says only 13 per cent of Holden dealers have so far been made a formal offer.
“Any claim of unanimous rejection is untrue. Further, many dealers we have met with so far have expressed thanks for the professional approach Holden has taken in the discussions,” Holden said in a media statement issued to CarAdvice.
“Different dealers will take different approaches to their commercial negotiations around compensation. We also acknowledge that responses can be emotional as we work through an amicable solutions to a difficult situation for all.”
However, the Holden dealer group claims the rejection of the initial compensation offer will be “unanimous” because other dealers yet to have their meetings now know how the US car giant is forming its calculations.
“Our estimations are that the compensation offer covers just 16 per cent of the dealer’s liability,” said a Holden dealer representative. “The calculation is the same for everyone. No-one is going to accept that.”
Holden dealers have engaged automotive legal specialists HWL Ebsworth and advisory firm KPMG to help dealers calculate what they are owed in compensation by General Motors.
CarAdvice has learned some Holden dealers have been offered as little as $100,000 to shut their showrooms, while others have been allocated up to $2 million to transition their businesses.
Despite record low sales over the past two years, CarAdvice has learned Holden and General Motors continued to urge some dealers to invest in multi-million-dollar showroom upgrades and facilities.
MORE: Holden closure news